Surprising Facts about Turkey
Despite the appearance of camels at holiday resorts, there is no desert in Turkey and no native camels
Turkey was amongst the some of the first countries to give women the right to vote. (Before America and most European countries)
Turkey introduced coffee to Europe in the 1500's
It was the Turkish people that gave the Dutch their famous tulips
Julius Caesar uttered his famous words, "I came, I saw, I conquered" in Turkey when he won the Pontus, a vast kingdom in the Black Sea region
The average Turkish person drinks 10 cups of tea a day
Jelly beans were started as an American form of Turkish Delight
Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, considered the worldǯs largest shopping mall dates back to 1455. Over the centuries it has grown into a warren of 61 streets lined by more than 4,000 shops and currently occupies a nearly incomprehensible 333,000 square feet. It was voted the world's #1 attraction in 2014, drawing over 91 million people.
It is believed by some scientist and scholars that Turkey was the landing place of Noahǯs arch. The story of mass flooding on earth appears in the bible and the specific location that Noah landed the arch has been determined as Mount Ararat which is 5165 meters' high
Turkey is responsible for 80% of the worlds hazelnut exports
More than 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites are in Turkey.
There are hundreds of beaches and marinas with a "Blue Flag" in Turkey on the Mediterranean and Aegean. "Blue Flag" is a European award that only the best and cleanest beaches can get.
Antalya deserves its reputation as the ‘Pearl of the Mediterranean’ and is Turkeys biggest international sea resort located along the Turkish Riviera. Among the most popular holiday resorts in the Mediterranean this is destination not to be missed. Antalya is both a working city and a holiday resort, so no matter what time of the year you plan your visit, the area is open for business. Antalya always offers a fabulous mix of great beaches and local culture. Set along the Mediterranean coastline, the views are some of the very best the country has to offer. The back drop is the Taurus mountains which are scattered in pine trees offering a bright green backdrop in the summer months and a dusting of snow during the winter months. However, do not be fooled by the snow, the beaches are still suitable for sunbathing throughout most of the year but it does make for a spectacular view. At the bottom of the mountains you will find a long golden beach and a rich blue sea that meets the skyline. There are not many countries that can afford such a view and it will make a great addition to your family album.
Kaleici is the old town and is the remains of original city which now sits inside the new modern city. The old town is simply stunning and a lovely place to meander through the cobbled streets while stopping for refreshments along the way. Head downhill through the winding streets and it will take you to the harbour where you can take a boat tour for a few hours or a 40-minute Ferry ride to Kemer beach on the other side of the bay. Kaleici comes alive at night with a perfect mix of tourists and locals who enjoying the refreshing sea air while sampling the local beers, cocktails and cuisine. The atmosphere in the city is simply perfect with one of the best welcomes you will find anywhere in Turkey. The ancient walled city is accessed through Hadrian’s gate which is the original gate to the old city, erected in honour of a visit by the eponymous Roman Emperor, and is still in great condition today. On the outside of the walled city you will find the modern city and the busy Ataturk Boulevard where locals and tourists go to shop for clothing and shoes. The area caters for the latest trends with both original brands and designer fakes being available. Everything from handbags, wallets and watches can be found at great prices and there is always an opportunity to haggle. Just outside of Antalya, a 20-minute drive along the coast you will find some of the largest golf courses in Turkey many of which take advantage of the sea view and are absolutely stunning, being extremely well maintained, assuring lush green grass and top notch facilities.
If you fancy a bit of history, you can take a day trip to Olympos which was an ancient city in Lycia. It is said to date back to 4th century BC and is now part of a national park. The city has a vast history, being taken over by the Roman commander accompanied by the young Julius Caesar in 78 BC. Antalya Museum is one of the best in Turkey with a rich collection of ancient Roman Statues and marble sarcophaguses. Ancient objects are displayed in different sections and in chronological order; an absolute must see are the Marble Statues of ancient Gods/Goddesses and the statues of Roman Emperors. Most of the statues housed in the museum were brought here from the nearby ancient city of PERGE. Antalya Museum is only 10 minutes from city center and you can take a local tram, which runs every half an hour.
To the eastern side of Antalya there is a popular waterfall named Duden Falls which sits on the cliff edge along with a large park area. The area is a great place to eat, drink and enjoy the view of Antalya bay with the mountains in the distance. If you are planning something to raise the adrenalin levels, Antalya beach hosts a wide range of water sports including Jet Skiing and Parasailing. Day trips for white water rafting in the mountains are also very popular and offer some spectacular scenery.
The hotel offerings in Antalya go from the sublime to the ridiculous, from the small bohemian Pansiyons in the old town where it is possible to stay at a nightly rate equivalent to that of the cost of a coffee in London, to the monumental 5 star ultra all-inclusive contemporary palaces of Kundu and Lara Beach. There are also more upscale offerings in Kaleici as well as in other parts of the city, fashionable boutique hotels and other establishments that are the haunt of the rich and the famous. Its location on the Mediterranean is utterly breathtaking, the Mediterranean Sea stretches out to offer an endless vista of calm beauty and the area itself is certainly one for the bucket list.
There is so much that can be said about this unique city that stands as the gateway to both East and West. Istanbul manages to marry the restless and frenetic energy of a great and prosperous city with glamour and exoticism; a history as old as Rome and infinitely more colourful, this city offers something for everyone.
The art and architecture is varied and impressive; parts of the city are lined with historical buildings adorned with ottoman architecture while other parts have some of the largest shopping malls you will find in Europe, selling both local and designer goods at very reasonable prices. The financial district has modern skyscrapers similar to those you would find in downtown New York. Istanbul is a huge city, for example it is 3 times the size of London and over 4 times the size of New York so there will never be a dull moment spent and never enough time to see everything on one visit or even two.
With a good range of hotels from boutique to 5 Star luxury there are literally thousands of hotels to choose from, according to your preference and of course your budget. Istanbul is a great city for an extended weekend break or a longer stay to enjoy the various areas of the city. The cuisine on offer is enough on its own to make you want to return, whether you prefer tasty street food or a fine dining restaurant. Every type of meat and fish dish is available within the city and the use of spices from both the east and west will simply make your mouth water, giving you a meal to remember for years to come.
In recent years, the city has been featured in many movie blockbusters such as Skyfall (James Bond) and Taken 2 (Liam Neeson). The city itself is a must see and although you may not run into Daniel Craig during your visit it is certainly one to add to your bucket list.
Fethiye as a destination is a personal favourite of ours as there is so much to do for everyone. If you are planning a holiday with your family you will find daily tours such as the ‘12 Island’ boat trip, various Jeep Safaris, Dalayan river cruise and mud bath, Saklikent Gorge or if you are feeling energetic, one of the many water sports available such as white water rafting or kayaking.
A 15-minute drive from Fethiye town centre will bring you to the beach resort of Oludeniz. This is one of the most beautiful places along the Mediterranean to sit and watch the stunning sunset in one of the roof top bars. Oludeniz is the most photographed beach in Turkey and the sight of the beach as you come down the hillside is sure to take your breath away. With chilled out music and a cocktail in hand, watch the paragliders jump off the pine clad mountains before floating through the sky above; landing just feet away from you, along the beach front of golden sand. It is here that most people start to plan their next visit. Fethiye has a huge percentage of repeat visitors and we are sure that you will join the expanding numbers once you have been here.
Fethiye itself is a working town with a beautiful harbor and a marina. The old town is a great place to walk around and shop for leather goods including handbags, wallets and coats. There is a Tuesday market where both the local expat community and local Turkish population go to shop for their fruit and vegetables and local goods such as handbags and clothing (also known as designer fakes). There is a large selection of spices at a fraction of the cost in your home country. With all that is on offer, it is likely that you will be making a call to the airline before your day of departure, to increase your baggage allowance.
The Fethiye fish market will provide you with an unforgettable evening. Choose your fish from one of the many stalls in the centre of the market and let them know your choice of restaurant for the evening, which is just a few steps away; local musicians will join you while you eat mezes and fish and usually drink vast amounts of wine. The resort town of Hisaronu is a 10-minute drive from Fethiye town just up the hill.
Hisaronu is a mountain resort and is known for its vibrant nightlife. Here you will find a fun atmosphere during the evening with restaurants, bars and nightclubs suitable for all ages. There are many family bars with Karaoke themes, competitions and entertainment such as the Michael Jackson show, Tina Turner Show, Talk of the Town (drag show), Fire Show, Breakdancing and Belly dancers. Kaya Koy, also known as the ‘Ghost Town’ is a further 5-minutes drive from Hisaronu. Here you will not find any ghosts (that we know of) but ruins of old buildings from Roman times that is currently preserved as a museum. It is a great place for walking and you will find many garden restaurants offering personal BBQ’s within a chilled out and natural environment.
Ten minutes from Fethiye in the opposite direction you will find Calis Beach which is lined with many restaurants and bars with a quieter theme to that of Hisaronu. If you are planning a family holiday, a romantic break with your partner or a break away on your own we are sure you will not be disappointed with Fethiye as your chosen destination.
Marmaris is a lively resort with the centre of town equipped with restaurants and a good size shopping area where you can find many fake designer goods. The marina houses some large yachts and is a good place to sit and watch the world go by while sipping a refreshing drink in the afternoon or for a private dinner during the evening.
The town of Marmaris is home to a long beach which stretches 10km down the coast line facing south west so is perfect for days spent relaxing in the sun. The clear blue waters are safe for swimming and offer a range of water sports including; Fly Boarding, Water Skiing, Fly Fish (this does not including sitting with a road, reel and a fly on the end!), Jet Skiing and Parasailing.
Just along the coast line, approximately 8km from Marmaris town centre, you will find the beach resort of Icmeler with a its popular white gold sandy beach. Scuba diving is also a popular activity here whether you are a beginner or an expert. If you fancy a day trip outside of the resort there are plenty to choose from including; A day trip to Rhodes, a Dalayan river cruise and mud bath, the Cleopatra Island Cruise or if you would like to travel further afield there are Ephesus and Pamukkale.
During the evening the resort town and beach front of Marmaris provides a lively atmosphere for families and couples who enjoy nightlife and sitting al fresco. In the centre of Marmaris you will find ‘bar street’ which is suitable for adults and couples who like to indulge in an evening of local spirits and entertainment. Bar street has a number of large nightclubs which are open until 4am. If you are planning a family holiday in a lively resort or you are planning a break away with a group of friends Marmaris is a great destination which is sure to meet your expectations
Bodrum is one of the prettiest tourist towns along the Aegean coast line. The whitewashed walls of the buildings seen against the backdrop of pine clad mountains on one side and blue sea on the other are truly breath taking. Bodrum is a port town and you will see many spectacular yachts of all sizes moored in the marina or just off the coast line, with their owners and guests relaxing on the top deck. A popular yacht that is often seen along the Bodrum coast line is the 56-metre ‘Regina’ which was used in the movie Skyfall along with Roman Abramovich’s yacht ‘Eclipse’; yours to charter for a minimal €2,000,000 per week. We are joking; not about the price but it being minimal, oh how the other half live! Bodrum is famous for its 15th century castle that sits in front of the peninsula overlooking both the harbor and marina. The castle is open to the public for a minimal, more affordable, fee and it is well worth spending a few hours exploring.
Bodrum has many boutique shops offering white linens and home decorations as well as clothing and high end jewellery items. This comes as no surprise as Bodrum regularly lures a host of fashionable personalities including Cristiano Ronaldo, Steven Gerrard, Beyonce, Nicole Kidman, Mick Jagger, Uma Thurman, Pamela Anderson and Roman Abramovich, to name but a few. During the summer months, the population of Bodrum swells from 50,000 to half a million. Bodrum, although small has the glitz factor over many other Turkish resorts with some of the best hotels available within the country and equipped with every luxury you could think of, not to mention top spa treatments that will leave you feeling totally relaxed and refreshed.
During the evening hours, you can find small bars and restaurants along the harbour side serving popular meat dishes as well as international cuisine and of course the ubiquitous fish restaurants offering fish caught just a few hours before. If you are planning a more eventful evening, head off to Halikarnas nightclub which is not hard to spot as its green lasers sweep across Bodrum harbour. The nightclub was opened in 1979 and has been considered as one of the best nightclubs in the world, attended by a host of celebrities over the years. The nightclub is open air and has a lineup of popular DJ’s throughout the summer months. Another must for those who enjoy clubbing is the Catamaran which is advertised as the largest floating disco in Europe. The Catamaran has hosted world famous DJs such as TIESTO, CHUCKIE, YAHEL, MARCO V, ARMIN VAN BUUREN and DAVID VENDETTA, all of whom who are global legends in the music industry today. The Catamaran sets sail around 12pm as the rhythm of night picks up speed along bar street. Bodrum has something for every generation. If you are planning a relaxing holiday in a beautiful location and want to enjoy romantic meals by the sea, or you prefer a livelier holiday you can choose either or a bit of both according to your preference.
Kusadasi is a popular holiday resort along the shores of the Aegean sea, particularly for both Irish and European tourists during the summer months. Kusadasi is home to one of the largest ports in Turkey where many cruise ships dock throughout the week providing an influx of tourists to the local area. There are many authentic Turkish carpets for sale and high quality leather goods.
There were once three gates along the city walls and today just the one remains, standing as a reminder of years gone by. The peninsula island at the end of the bay has a small castle and swimming beaches, including a private beach overlooking the bay of the town. The public beaches, including the popular ‘ladies beach’ are safe for swimming and well maintained. There are several Aqua Parks in Kusadasi with Adaland and Aqua Fantasy being the largest; either are well worth a visit and are enjoyed each year by both adults and children.
Yilanci Burnu is a second peninsula and is thought to be the original settlement of ancient Neopolis. Some of the walls can still be seen although the city is said to have sank under the clear waters of Kusadasi many years ago due to land movement. Nineteen miles south of the city, there is a large national park with coves, beaches, canyons and a sink cave. The national park is quieter than the local beaches so will allow for a peaceful day sunbathing and it is one of the most diverse and protected national parks in Turkey. During the evening Kusadasi awaits the superb sunset. As the sun sets the attractive restaurants and bars along the palm lined boulevard get busier, making it a great place to sit and people watch while the sea breeze provides some comfort after a day in the sunshine.
As the town attracts a high number of tourists you will find British, Indian, Chinese and of course local Turkish food on many menus. Kusadasi is well placed for a visit to Ephesus, the famous Greek city built in the 10th century BC that later flourished after coming under control of the Roman republic in 129 BC. The city was famed for the nearby Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World. It is well worth a visit and the ruins are well preserved which will add a great story to your photo album.
A popular day out is Pigeon Island or Bird Island by boat, which will include lunch and usually a bar on the boat so it is a full day out giving you time to relax and enjoy the crystal blue waters and local scenery. Every Saturday is market day where you will find a range of local delights including spices, linens and textiles as well as designer fake goods to include: handbags, wallets and clothing.